Virgil van Dijk has all it takes to be a success at Liverpool
The eventual transfer of Dutch International, Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool was football’s worst kept secret as it was always expected that the 26-year-old would join Jurgen Klopp’s team. He has taken the no. 4 jersey at the club, with many fans hoping he would be more of a Sami Hyypia than a Kolo Toure.
While his quality is not in question, many fans have rightly raised questions about his transfer fee: set at a pricey £75m. He is expected to help Liverpool in the heart of the defence, which has become a problem area for the Merseyside club, and being wanted by the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City shows that he is truly special.
After Jose Fonte left Southampton to join West Ham, the armband was thrust to van Dijk and he wore it with distinction, always leading by example and not allowing his standards to drop. After the furore about his protracted summer move to Liverpool, he lost the captaincy to Maya Yoshida, the Japanese international.
Time and time again, though, it was not an unusual sight to see the former Celtic man giving instructions to his teammates about where to place themselves. Current Reds captain, Jordan Henderson doesn’t have the presence and ability to give his teammates an earful when needed, traits van Dijk possesses in abundance.
It is a well-known fact that the Liverpool defence will ship goals every time and for a team hoping to compete for the major trophies on offer, a good defensive base is the beginning of that dream. Current options at the back such as Klavan, Matip and Lovren are all decent players, but the arrival of van Dijk elevates the quality.
In the 2016/17 season, he was head and shoulders above every defender bar Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld playing in the Premier League despite playing for modest Southampton before a nasty injury in January curtailed his exploits for the Saints.
He is fast, reads the game excellently and is also a goal threat. Added to the fact that his heart was set on experiencing the joy of playing at Anfield as a Liverpool means he is happy to join the team and help the squad to challenge for the trophies that have eluded them in recent years.
He will also be eligible to play in the Champions League as Liverpool aim to add to their five European titles. In spite of all this, his lack of regular football in the past year due to a culmination of injuries and form loss means that he will be eased into the team, but when he gets going, few strikers in the league would be happy to come up against him.
Liverpool have a quality player, and only the transfer market has made him available for £75m. He will repay the faith because he has everything to become a club legend.